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Ichiyama and Kirui Lead Marugame Half Elite Field



Last year's winners Betsy Saina and Edward Waweru, both of Kenya, return to the Feb. 3 Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon, but in both cases they have tough competition. Ranked #1 in the women's race is Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) with a 1:09:14, 3 seconds better than Saina's winning time last year. 3 seconds slower is Sinead Diver (Australia) with a 1:09:20 on home ground last year. Sara Hall (U.S.A.) isn't far behind, and with track star Ayuko Suzuki (Japan Post) making her debut off a brilliant run at last weekend's National Women's Ekiden it should be a solid pack up front.

In the men's race, 2017 marathon world champion Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) leads the way, his best recent time a 1:00:04 in New Delhi two years ago. Only 2 seconds behind is Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya), with Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya) and the Japan-based Waweru just over 20 seconds back. Waweru's condition is a question mark after an injury at the New Year Ekiden. Kenta Murayama (Asahi Kasei) leads the home crew, with an interesting duo from Chuo University, Ken Nakayama and Kensuke Horio, hoping to improve on their sub-62 bests. Jack Rayner (Australia) is another interesting addition, while Germany's Richard Ringer will be making his debut off a 27:36.52 track 10000 m best.

73rd Kagawa Marugame International Half Marathon

Elite Field Highlights
Kagawa, Marugame, 2/3/19
comp;lete elite field listing: part A, part B
times listed are best within last 3 years except where noted

Women
Mao Ichiyama (Japan/Wacoal) - 1:09:14 (Sanyo 2017)
Betsy Saina (Kenya) - 1:09:17 (Marugame 2018)
Sinead Diver (Australia) - 1:09:20 (Maroochydore 2018)
Sara Hall (U.S.A.) - 1:09:27 (Gold Coast 2018)
Rachel Cliff (Canada) - 1:10:08 (The Woodlands 2018)
Sara Dossena (Italy) - 1:10:10 (Udine 2018)
Carlotte Purdue (Great Britain) - 1:10:29 (London 2018)
Keiko Nogami (Japan/Juhachi Ginko) - 1:11:16 (Sanyo 2017)
Eri Hayakawa (Japan/J-Beat) - 1:11:43 (Marugame 2017)
Shiori Morita (Japan/Panasonic) - 1:12:23 (Sendai 2018)
Mei Matsuyama (Japan/Noritz) - 1:12:58 (Marugame 2016)
Ayuko Suzuki (Japan/Japan Post) - debut - 31:18.16 (Stanford 10000 m 2016)

Men
Geoffrey Kirui (Kenya) - 1:00:04 (New Delhi 2017)
Shadrack Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:00:06 (Prague 2018)
Evans Cheruiyot (Kenya) - 1:00:26 (Istanbul 2018)
Edward Waweru (Kenya/NTN) - 1:00:31 (Marugame 2018)
Kenta Murayama (Japan/Asahi Kasei) - 1:00:50 (New York 2017)
Jack Rayner (Australia) - 1:01:01 (Cardiff 2018)
Vincent Laimoi (Kenya/Kokushikan Univ.) - 1:01:19 (Ageo 2018)
Simon Kariuki (Kenya/Nihon Yakka Univ.) - 1:01:25 (Ageo 2017)
Ken Nakayama (Japan/Chuo Univ.) - 1:01:32 (Ageo 2018)
Keita Shitara (Japan/Hitachi Butsuryu) - 1:01:54 (Marugame 2016)
Kensuke Horio (Japan/Chuo Univ.) - 1:01:57 (Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai 2018)
Richard Ringer (Germany) - debut - 27:36.52 (London 10000 m 2018)

© 2019 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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